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Clifford ANDO , Daniel B ARBU , Nicole BELAYCHE , Corinne BONNET , David B OUVIER , Maya B URGER , Claude CALAME , Valentina C ALZOLARI ,


Doralice F ABIANO , David F RANKFURTER , Fritz G RAF, Christian G ROSSE , Dominique JAILLARD , Margaret J AQUES , Sarah Iles J OHNSTON , Antje K OLDE , Bruce LINCOLN, Mélanie L OZAT , Alessandra L UKINOVICH , Philippe M ATTHEY , Silvia N AEF , Agnes A. N AGY , Maurice O LENDER , Delphine P ANISSOD E GGEL , Svetlana PETKOVA , Vincianne P IRENNE -D ELFORGE , Olivier P OT , Francesca P RESCENDI , James M. REDFIELD , Anne-Caroline RENDU LOISEL , André-Louis REY , Thomas RÖMER , François RUEGG , Jörg RÜPKE , John S CHEID , Renate SCHLESIER , Paul S CHUBERT, Aurore S CHWAB , Guy G. S TROUMSA, Youri V OLOKHINE , Froma I. Z EITLIN

Dans le laboratoire de l historien des religions

Mélanges offerts à Philippe Borgeaud

Edités par Francesca PRESCENDI et Youri V OLOKHINE Avec la collaboration de Daniel B ARBU et Philippe MATTHEY


Cet ouvrage est publié avec les soutiens de la Faculté des Lettres de l'Université de Genève, de la Maison de l'Histoire, Genève, de M. et Mme Matthey, de la fondation Patek Philippe et de la République et canton de Genève

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Gravure de Eisen, illustrant l ’ Emile de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, édition de La Haye, Néaulme,

Gravure de Eisen, illustrant l Emile de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, édition de La Haye, Néaulme, Paris, Duchesne, 1762. En-tête du livre second (Tome I, p. 140), avec la légende :

« Chiron exerçant le petit Achille à la course ».

Whose Gods are These ? A Classicist Looks at Neopaganism 1

Sarah Iles JOHNSTON (The Ohio State University)

Many contributors to this volume will be discussing « religions of the other » in the ancient world, as seen through the eyes of the ancients themselves : how the Romans viewed the Jews, how the Greeks viewed the Egyptians, and so on. I would like to do something different ; I would like to look at a group of people whom scholars of ancient religions them- selves tend to view as practicing a strange religion : namely, those who recreate ancient religions in the contemporary world, or « neopagans ». The topic is particularly interesting because neopagans base their practices and systems of belief not only on the ancient sources but also, and even more directly, on the work of those who study the ancient sources that is, they create their religions by drawing upon on the scholarship that we produce. For most of this essay, I will look at what it is that our work contributes to these new religions, and how, exactly, it does so. More briefly, at the end, I will suggest that by considering how these new reli- gions develop, we will better appreciate the vitality and flexibility of ancient religions. But first I must get some basics out of the way. The word « neopaganism » is often used as a blanket term for religions that seek to revive the polytheis- tic beliefs and practices of the pre-Christian west. Although estimates vary, it is likely that about 700 000 people in North America (including Canada) identify themselves as practicing some form of neopaganism 2 . This includes, for example, Neo-Druidism, Heathenry (or Norse neopaganism), and Hellenismos that is, the revival of ancient Greek religious practices.

1. An early version of this essay was presented at the 2010 meetings of the American Philological Association as part of a joint panel on Religious Controversies that was co- sponsored by the APA and the Classical Association, organized by Tim Whitmarsh. I thank the audience for their responses and my colleague Tom Hawkins for discussions before the paper. I also thank Sabina Magliocco for her continuing advice on the larger project to which this essay serves as a prelude. The essay is offered in gratitude for the many years of friendship and common scholarly interests that I have shared with Philippe Borgeaud. 2. Sabina MAGLIOCCO, Witching Culture. Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, p. 60.



But the term « neopaganism » also includes groups or individuals who are consciously eclectic in their worship, seeking not to replicate a single system, but rather to create a new system from pieces of several older systems, including that of ancient Greece. This type of neopaganism has been around for about a century, having been initially inspired, in part, by the widely popular work of James Frazer and Jane Ellen Harrison, as well as by the then nascent fields of folklore studies and anthropology 3 . Much of what I write about in this essay will reflect this eclectic type of neopaga- nism, especially as it is found in California and the American Midwest. Occasionally, I will refer to a specific neopagan group by the name they have chosen, such as Coven Trismegiston, a group founded in the Berkeley area about twenty years ago, but usually I will make statements represen- ting broader trends. Which brings me to a caveat : working on this topic presents a different sort of challenge from those we usually encounter as scholars of ancient religions. Usually, we deal with testimonies that are too few and too scatte- red for us to be sure that we have gotten a complete picture of whatever we are studying. When working on neopaganism, in contrast, and especially during the cyber-age, we encounter such a profusion of evidence that one of the biggest challenges is to find ways to generalize without misrepresen- ting. Complicating this is the fact that to work on neopaganism in depth, one needs to interview the people who practice it, which, at least for American scholars, means going through a lengthy process of obtaining approval from the government s Institutional Review Board, a clearing house for all research involving humans. For this reason, in preparing the present essay I have avoided interviewing individuals or joining web-based groups that would have admitted me to conversations that neopagans carry on amongst themselves. Any statements that I quote have been taken either from the public portions of neopagan websites 4 or from a book by Sabina Magliocco, one of the leading scholars of neopaganism today 5 . With these preliminaries out of the way, I can turn now to our main question : what it is that our work as scholars contributes to neopaganism, and how does it do so ? The average American neopagan, according to Magliocco, is white, middle-class, well-educated and « an avid consumer of books ». He or she usually has at least one college degree and not

3. See Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit., pp. 23-56, esp. 41-43 ; Ronald HUTTON, The Triumph

of the Moon : A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft , Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 36-37, 122-27.

4. All of the websites cited in this essay were visited on numerous occasions during the

period between mid-November and late December, 2009. None of the information I cite changed during this period, so I do not specify days or times of day.



uncommonly lives within a university environment 6 . Not surprisingly, given these demographics, neopagans acknowledge that it is best to learn the languages relevant to the religions from which they borrow and read the sources for themselves. But they also acknowledge that this requires an investment of time that few of them can afford, and so they compile and share lists of primary texts in translation that they consider important (Homer, the Homeric Hymns and the Orphic Hymns are among their favo- rites) and they also share lists of secondary works that they judge to be helpful. Leading the latter sort of list, almost always, is Walter Burkert s Greek Religion. Also common are Fritz Graf s Magic in the Ancient World ; Jon Mikalsons Athenian Popular Religion ; F.W. Parkes Festivals of the Athenians ; and two of my own books, Hekate Soteira and Restless Dead . Given the context of the present volume, I am delighted to report that one occasionally finds Philippe Borgeauds The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece recommended as well. Most interestingly, on a page of the Other Gods website entitled « Pan Visits News Jersey », Edwin Chapman claims that, after reading aloud an ancient hymn to Pan that he found in Borgeaud s book, the god appeared to him in a form that looked (and smelled) like a homeless drunk, complaining that humans did not talk to him anymore 7 . One sometimes finds older books by Karl Kerenyi and Walter F. Otto, as well and also, still, Jane Harrison s three major books. Most of these are books that I would put on reading lists for my graduate students but the neopagans do not consume them in the same way that scholars do. For one thing, neopaganism is selective in what it takes away from its sources. Or to be more precise, neopagans engage in what Magliocco, adapting a phrase from Michel de Certeau, refers to as « poa- ching in the stacks » 8 . That is, they borrow elements or ideas from scho- larly works, from which they fashion new concepts or spiritual identities. Magliocco was particularly interested in the effects that such poaching had had on neopaganism during its infancy and especially on the effects that the emergent field of folklore studies had had on it. Magliocco showed that

6. Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit. , p. 64, cf. pp. 60-61 and 75-80.

7. Philippe BORGEAUD, The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece ( Recherches sur le dieu Pan ,

1979), Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1988 ; http://www.othergods.org/research/Pan %20visits%20NJ.html. See also, e.g., the College of the Crossroads website, which recommends BORGEAUD on a page devoted to Lupercus, the Wolf-God : http://www. collegeofthecrossroads.org/Lupercus.htm. The importance of Pan to neopagans, beginning at the turn of the 19 th and 20 th centuries, is discussed by Ronald HUTTON, op cit., pp. 43-51 ; briefly put, to them Pan is the guardian of the wild, and naturally harmonious countryside,

as seen in opposition to the artificial, industrialized city.

8. Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit ., pp. 54-55 ; Michel DE CERTEAU, The Practice of Everyday

Life ( LInvention du quotidien , 1980), Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984.



the early neopagans borrowed the concept of survivals from folklore stu- dies and then, subsequently rejecting the authority of the academy whene- ver it restricted them, sought proof that pagan religions still survived in the British countryside, ready to be revived. Although the concept of survivals still interests neopagans, nowadays textual poaching has different focuses. Let us first note that the scholarly books I mentioned a moment ago are of two types : most popular are what might be described as surveys of information Burkert, Graf, Mikalson and Parke fall into this category. In contrast, neopagan reading lists usually dont include books that focus closely on interpreting a single god or single phe- nomenon, with a few exceptions : quite a few lists include my Hekate Soteira for a reason that I will discuss shortly below, and I as mentioned above, several lists include Borgeaud s book on Pan, a deity central to neopaganism for more than a century. But I have never seen, for instance, Burkerts Homo Necans, or Mikalsons Religion in Hellenistic Athens on a neopagan reading list. What explains this pattern ? As Henry Jenkins, a scholar of contempo- rary media culture, has observed, for textual poaching to succeed, the text in question be it a movie, a TV series, a novel, or, I would argue, a scholarly work that is being used by a non-scholarly community must have enough coherence of its own to retain clear meanings even as it is being dismembered and reused. The parts must continue to resonate with whatever glamour or authority of the original whole attracted the poacher s attention in the first place. Jenkins examined the « Star Trek » œ uvre and its fans with this in mind and showed that the fans are able to build detailed histories of a character or a continuing theme the « Star Trek » œ uvre is highly coherent, in other words 9 . The fans can invoke the full richness of a character s personality or a themes complexity by incorporating, or even just alluding to, isolated pieces of information in their own conversations or creative works. We begin to see why neopagans choose to poach from certain scholarly texts about Greek religions and not from others : by their very nature as surveys, the books I mentioned tend to impose a coherence and singula- rity of meaning upon materials that were in reality polyvalent. In contrast, books that focus on specific phenomena or gods more frequently acknow- ledge the contradictions inherent in such polyvalence, and leave the rea- ders to reach their own conclusions. In other words, if one wants to create a picture of Athena that coheres, and from which one can develop ones own practices, it is better to look at what Burkert, Mikalson or Parke says

9. Henry JENKINS, Textual Poachers : Television Fans and Participatory Culture, New York, Routledge, 1993.



about Athena than at, for example, Susan Deacy and Alexandra Villings volume Athena in the Classical World , which offers 20 different analyses by 20 different scholars 10 . This brings me back to my own Hekate Soteira, which rather decisively proves the point I am making. In addition to offering a close look at its eponymous goddess, Hekate Soteira provided, when it was published in 1990, the first general description in more than 40 years of the esoteric movement known as theurgy, in which Hecate played a central role. Our ancient evidence for theurgy comprises a bewildering array of what often seem to be contradictory opinions, advice and reports snipped from sources such as Iamblichus, Proclus, and Damascius. I was bold enough, when I wrote Hekate Soteira at the green age of thirty, to impose a unity upon all of this. For reasons I will discuss shortly below, theurgy has always held a strong interest for neopagans, and so, not surprisingly, my book, with its tidy survey, immediately attracted their attention. I expect, in fact, that it is neopagans who have caused the book to outsell all other titles in the American Philological Association monograph series in which it was publi- shed, and who have caused used copies of the out-of-print hard-cover edi- tion to sell for $200 I do not imagine that classicists alone have fueled this demand. With the advent of neopagan websites in the late 1990s, I began to find Hekate Soteira quoted in cyber-space. A site called Temenos Theôn, for example, uses passages from Hekate Soteira to support its ideas about establishing a personal connection with a god and making proper use of divination 11 . Information about non-theurgic rituals that was provided by my work has been used by neopagans as well. Coven Trismegiston, for example, has performed its own version of a noumenia sacrifice to Hecate at a place in Berkeley where three streets meet, which Magliocco tells me was based in part on my discussion of the ancient noumenia ritual 12 . In short, Hekate Soteira became a neopagan hit because it was coherent too coherent now for my own, older (and I hope wiser) scholarly sensibilities, but absolutely what one needed if one wanted to practice theurgy. But let us return to the main point : if textual poachers are attracted to texts that seem coherent, then neopagans are especially likely to be attrac- ted, because, given that most of them cannot read ancient sources for themselves, they cannot make independent judgments about which pieces of ancient information should be privileged and which should not. Nor

10. Susan DEACY and Alexandra VILLING ed., Athena in the Classical World , Leiden,

Brill, 2001.

11. http://kyrene.4t.com/mysticism.html.

12. Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit ., pp. 23-24, supplemented by a conversation with

Magliocco on April 16, 2008.



are they, usually, trained in the other sub-fields that scholarly readers use to make such judgments. I cannot imagine using Jon Mikalsons Religion in Hellenistic Athens , for example, without being able to consult the Inscriptiones Graecae . Caught between their deep respect for ancient ways and the fact that they seldom have the time or, usually, the desire to become academics, most neopagans rely on us to produce accounts of ancient religion that are both accurate and accessible. The second type of text that the neopagans poach is valued because it is understood to have captured the eternal spirit of Greek religion Otto, Kerenyi and Harrison fall into this category, and so also, I am told, does Hekate Soteira, although I did not write it with that intention. The texts of this type almost always share something else with one another as well :

they foreground what the neopagans understand to be the personal sides of ancient religion : the Eleusinian mysteries, Orphism, what are thought to be the spiritual aspects of the Homeric gods and of course, theurgy and Hermeticism. This foregrounding of the personal goes hand-in-hand with the fact that neopaganism has particularly thrived in America, for the quest for a personal relationship with the divine (what Harold Bloom called the « Gnostic turn » in American spirituality) 13 is central to every other reli- gion that Americans have invented Mormonism, Christian Science and Pentecostalism, for example. Indeed, neopaganism sometimes takes this tendency further, encouraging adherents to learn who their personal god is and how best to connect with him or her. I will note one more thing about the neopagan desire to emphasize the personal side of Greek religion far beyond what any scholar of antiquity would : namely, that it aligns with a broader, although probably uncons- cious, tendency within neopaganism to model their new religions upon precisely those that they have rejected, particularly Christianity. In the same vein, many of the neopagan sites that I visited emphasize what they understand to be the ethical side of Greek religion. They find this in texts that scholars would not think of as religious documents : various works of Plato, Solon and Theognis for example 14 . They also look to less familiar sources. A year ago I did not even know that Stobaeus had passed down 147 Delphic maxims that he claimed were recorded by the philosopher Sosiades I first encountered these maxims on the « ethics » pages of neopagan websites 15 . In interpreting these maxims, one site claims that at

13. Harold BLOOM, The American Religion , New York, Simon and Schuster, 1992.

14. E.g., http://duttond.topcities.com/Hellenotamiai/ethics.html.

15. E.g., http://kyrene.4t.com/delphic_maxims.html. It was also on a neopagan website

(http://www.flyallnight.com/khaire/DelphicMaxims/) that I learned that 18 more maxims, possibly belonging to the Delphic corpus, had been found in an inscription from ancient



the core of Hellenismos (that is, a non-eclectic form of neopaganism that strives to accurately revive ancient Greek religion) lies the embrace of moderation, hospitality and reciprocity so far, this sounds more or less like the Greeks whom scholars know but another site concludes that reviving the spirit of the Delphic maxims and ancient Greek religion more generally requires having « respect for men and women regardless of ethnicity, color, creed, social status, sexual orientation, or physical ability » which does not sound like our Greeks, at all 16 . Another particular way in which neopagans poach from scholarly works involves the creation of a liturgical year. Several sites include calendars of festivals that are based mainly on the publications of Parke and Mikalson but that have been supplemented so as to ensure, as the website Hellenion says, « that each Olympian [god] is honored at least once a year » 17 . The website s calendar for 2009 instructs worshippers to make a libation to Ares on November 14 th , for example, which it identifies with the 27 th of Maimakterion an ancient Attic month that is conveniently empty of major festivals and therefore ripe for supplementation 18 . Many neopagan calendars emphasize the monthly worship of Hecate at the noumenia although not all of them require performance of rituals where three roads meet, as did the Berkeley group I mentioned above 19 . One contributor to a

Bactria the website provided a link to an article by A. N. OIKONOMIDES, « Records of The Commandments of the Seven Wise Menin the 3 rd c. B.C. », CB 63, 1987, pp. 67-76. Clearly, as this indicates, not all neopagans stop at reading survey-type scholarship ; some go to considerable lengths to inform themselves now aided, I presume, by the blessings of Google and JSTOR. 16. For moderation, etc., http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html ?a=usfl&c=ba- sics&id=4575. For inclusiveness : http://www.hellenion.org/Mission.html 17. http://www.hellenion.org/calendar.html and http://www.hellenion.org/2009_Calen- dar_Hellenion.pdf. 18. Ares, more than any other god, seems to challenge neopagans to be interpretatively creative. From reading Homer, they conclude that he was a major god (and thus, that he cannot be ignored in their worship), and yet the political and ethical outlooks that most neopagans share make it hard for them to embrace a god of war. Some of them put considerable thought into how to deal with this conflict of loyalties. A discussion on the Neos Olympos website, for instance, includes a link to a paper given by Matthew Gonzales at the 2005 meetings of the American Philological Association, entitled « The Binding of Ares in Myth and Cult » (a point that once again emphasizes the degree to which neopagans rely on our scholarship as they create their religions). The webpage quotes Gonzales at length, emphasizing his suggestion that Ares could be understood as the servant of Dike and therefore concluding that he deserves the worship of even peace-loving people. 19. For websites advocating the worship of Hecate at the noumenia , see e.g., http:// www.hellenion.org/calendar.html, http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/ hekatesdeipnon, and http://community.livejournal.com/pagan/1727409.html. For the Berke- ley group, Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit. , pp. 23-24.



neopagan website, who identifies herself as Zoë, suggests instead that the noumenia is a good time to clean out the refrigerator or tend to the worm composter 20 . Neither of these activities, of course, are actually taken from ancient sources, but, they are admirable attempts to replicate, in spirit, the ancient practice of ritually disposing of household dirt during the noume- nia so as to purify oneself and one s household. All of this neopagan poaching puts scholars in a very interesting posi- tion. Ancient texts that for centuries have been the almost exclusive pur- view of the educated elite now are being appropriated for use by a sub- culture (that is, the neopagans) that simultaneously relies on the educated elite to convey the texts or at least the information contained in the texts, and subverts them by creating liturgies and belief systems that contradict what the elite claim are the texts « correct » uses and interpretations. As scholars, we could choose to view our situation as similar to that of contemporary Native Americans, who protest the neopagan appropriation of their spiritual traditions and the resulting creation of what the Native Americans scornfully call « plastic shamans ». We could choose to protest the cleaning out of refrigerators at the time of the new moon, for example or to take another, and even more egregious, example of how the neo- pagans update ancient rituals, we could choose to protest the use of fruit- tea at contemporary celebrations of the Anthesteria, which the Hellenion website suggests is a perfectly good substitute for wine ; we could scorn- fully label the tea-drinkers « plastic Dionysiacs » 21 . But there would be some irony in such protests, given that classicists of a century ago, including most prominently James Frazer 22 , played leading roles in establishing the idea of « survivals » and their « reinterpretations » from which neopaganism first grew : in combing scholarly publications for liturgical cues and then seeking modern equivalents, neopagans carry on, mutatis mutandis, the activities of those who first lay the groundwork for the study of ancient religions. And of course, there would be yet further irony in our protests given that, even if it is our texts that are being poached from, the material that the neopagans seek to appropriate by doing so was never really ours to begin with : in contrast with the Native Americans, most of us do not claim to practice ancient Greek religion in any form. To give this situation yet one more twist, I suspect that one reason that Greek

20. http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/hekatesdeipnon.

21. http://www.hellenion.org/timotheos/anthesteria1.html. Cf. the recommended offe-

ring to Artemis Mounichia of open-faced sandwiches made on tortilla shells a contempo- rary substitute for ancient cakes called amphiphontes : http://www.hellenion.org/timotheos/ mounikhia.html.

22. Ronald HUTTON, op. cit ., pp. 113-117.



forms of neopaganism are especially popular among the educated middle class is that the Greek gods were melded with the predominantly Christian culture of the western world long ago, by writers, artists and musicians such as Dante, Bernini and Handel, and then subsequently Walt Disney, John Updike and the History Channel. Although different enough from Christ to have an exotic, subversive appeal, the ancient gods and heroes have reassuringly familiar faces. We might indeed ask ourselves, « whose gods are these ? » They seem to belong to everyone and therefore to no one in particular. Up until now, I have implicitly concentrated on what might be called the « authorial reception » of our work as scholars and the interesting situations in which it places us. That is, I have explored the ways in which, when neopagans poach from our texts, they in turn create, as new authors, constructions that are clearly indebted to what they have read in our works, even if the new creations carry additional meanings. This is not too dif- ferent, in spirit, from what happened when Catullus « received » Sappho or Theocritus « received » Hipponax. But I also want to consider a second, Jaussian model of reception, such as has been used within the field of classics by scholars such as Charles Martindale and William Batstone 23 . According to this model, the meaning of a text is created only by the act of its reception, through its interface with those who receive it. By the terms of this model, as scholars of ancient religion, we find ourselves in the interesting position of not only being unable to dismiss what we might consider « inaccurate » neopagan recons- tructions of ancient Greek religions but also being compelled to grant them validity. By this model, we can no more reject the neopagansinterpreta- tions of our work and their subsequent reconstructions of Greek religion than Homer could reject James Joyce. Martindale himself might blench at my comparison of the neopagans to Joyce he has recently urged us, in a volume on reception that he co-edited with Richard Thomas, to privilege Dantes Divine Comedy over the film « Gladiator » in our work, and he has cautioned us that as classicists, we « form ourselves by the company that we keep » 24 . And yet I could respond, using Martindale s own words, that one value of reception is « to bring to consciousness the factors that may have contributed to our responses to the

23. E.g., Charles MARTINDALE, Redeeming the Text : Latin Poetry and the Hermeneutics

of Reception , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (Roman Literature and its Contexts), 1993, and William BATSTONE, « Provocation. The Point of Reception Theory », in : Classics and the Uses of Reception (Charles MARTINDALE and Richard THOMAS ed.), Oxford,

Blackwell, 2006, pp. 14-20.

24. Charles MARTINDALE, « Thinking through Reception », in : Classics and the Uses of



texts of the past, factors of which we may well be ignorantbut are not therefore innocent» 25 . Certainly, attention to neopaganism can do this for ancient religion. Magliocco describes a ritual created by a neopagan group in the Bay Area to help cure a member of cancer by emphasizing the connectivity of indivi- duals and communities, of humans and nature. The participants in the ritual invoked Arachne as a goddess of weaving, trusting that she could facilitate such connectivity and thus the cure 26 . Many classicists, I suspect, would recoil from elevating a hubristic girl to a goddess. And yet, if we set aside our aversion which essentially means setting aside Ovid s Metamor- phoses as an authoritative text that can be received in only one way then we might recognize the vigor born of bricolage that not only infuses contemporary neopaganism but that also infused ancient Greek religion. Arachne s elevation might lead us to better appreciate for example, a first or second century CE temple dedication from Chios 27 commissioned by a certain Apollonides for his grandfather Megon, in which Apollonides declares Megon to be a Heros Ploutodotês. Declaring a dead person to be a hero is not remarkable, but adding the word ploutodotês certainly is. It evokes Hesiods daimones esthloi, phylakes andrôn [] ploutodotai and the Eleusinian god Ploutos ; ploutodotês was also a title that the Greeks gave to Isis and other eastern gods from the Hellenistic age on 28 . The boundaries between the heroized dead, the traditional heroes, and the gods themselves seem to have simply vanished at Apollonidesbehest, in other words. On Thera during the third century BCE, having been commanded to do so in a dream, Artemidorus of Perge built a temenos in which he brought together the local polis gods Zeus, Apollo and Poseidon ; the local gods of the countryside, Hecate and the heroines ; the goddess of his own home- city, Artemis Pergaia Soteira ; the gods who were his personal saviors, the Samothracian Dioscuri ; and, finally, the personifications Tyche and Homonoia 29 . In other words, like many neopagans, Artemidorus construc- ted a pantheon to suit himself and his own needs. Nor do examples of religious bricolage such as these arise only « late » in the course of Greek

25. Charles MARTINDALE, op. cit., p. 5.

26. Sabina MAGLIOCCO, op. cit. , pp. 136-38.

27. I. Ch. 68. For discussion, Fritz GRAF, Nordionische Kulte , Rome, Instituto Svizzero

di Roma, 1985, pp. 127-31.

28. HES, Op. 123-26 ; for its use with names of eastern gods, see Fritz GRAF, op. cit.,

1985, p. 129, n. 65.

29. The main sources : IG XII 3, 421 f. and XII 3, Suppl. 1333-1348. Cf. Fritz GRAF,

« Bermerkung zur bürgerlichen Religiosität im Zeitalter des Hellenismus », in : Stadtbild und Bürgerbild im Hellenismus (Michael WÖRRLE and Paul ZANKER éd.), Munich, Beck,

1995, pp. 103-114.



religion : the Athenian of Platos Laws proposed outlawing the erection of private shrines based on the commands of dreams, which suggests that such practices were common in the real Athenian world 30 . So : whose gods are these Zeus, Apollo, Hecate and all the rest with whom we grapple in our scholarly pursuits ? I think we must concede that they have always belonged to whoever invested time and energy in imagi- ning them their appearances, their powers, their loves and their hatreds. Certainly, that includes people such as Artemidorus of Perge and Apollonides of Chios but it also includes Euripides and Sappho, for example, whose images of the gods are just as idiosyncratic, and at times just as much the products of bricolage, as are those of Artemidorus and Apollonides, even if they are more familiar to us. And although we some- times forget it, it includes us, too, as scholars, for we inevitably re-imagine the gods as we do our work, however much we may think we only report and analyze what the ancients have already said. But it also includes, and legitimately so, as I hope I have shown, the neopagans, who have put a great deal of time and energy into imagining them and have done so in a manner from which, at times, we can learn.

30. PL., Leg. 11 909d.

Table des matières



Bibliographie de Philippe Borgeaud Etablie par Mélanie LOZAT, Delphine PANISSOD et Aurore SCHWAB




Le Miroir de lAutre

De Jésus à Voltaire. Variations sur les origines du christianisme Daniel BARBU (Université de Genève)


Une page d histoire religieuse arménienne. Laffrontement entre le roi mazdéen Tiridate et Grégoire l Illuminateur près du temple de la déesse Anahit en Akilisène Valentina CALZOLARI (Centre de recherches arménologiques Université de Genève)


Lautre que nous pourrions être ou lautre que nous sommes aussi :

l histoire des religions à l école Nicole DURISCH GAUTHIER (HEP Vaud)


Religion in the Mirror of the Other : A Preliminary Investigation David FRANKFURTER (Boston University)


Mysteries, Baptism, and the History of Religious Studies. Some Tentative Remarks Fritz GRAF (The Ohio State University)


La « religion populaire ». Linvention d un nouvel horizon de laltérité religieuse à lépoque moderne ( XVI e XVIII e siècle) Christian GROSSE (Université de Lausanne)



Whose Gods are These ? A Classicist Looks at Neopaganism Sarah Iles JOHNSTON (The Ohio State University)


Lordalie de la philologie classique ou La tentation de lAutre Agnes A. NAGY (Université de Genève)


De l histoire des religions à l invention de la sociologie :

autour du néo-fétichisme d Auguste Comte Olivier POT (Université de Genève)


Tsiganes musulmans de la Dobroudja. Entre ethnicité et religion : le mythe des origines écorné François RUEGG (Université de Fribourg)


On the Roots of Christian Intolerance Guy G. STROUMSA (Oxford University)


En Méditerranée, de Grèce à Rome

Scripture, authority and exegesis, Augustine and Chalcedon Clifford ANDO (University of Chicago)


Le possible « corps » des dieux : retour sur Sarapis Nicole BELAYCHE (EPHE / UMR 8210 « AnHiMA »)


Socrate, Pan et quelques nymphes : à propos de la prière finale du Phèdre (279b4-c8) David BOUVIER (Université de Lausanne)


Hérodote, précurseur du comparatisme en histoire des religions ? Retour sur la dénomination et l identification des dieux en régime polythéiste Claude CALAME (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en sciences sociales, Paris)


I « demoni dei bagni » tra acqua e fuoco Doralice FABIANO (Université de Genève)


Paysages de l altérité. Les espaces grecs de l inspiration Dominique JAILLARD (Université de Lausanne)


Lautre Aiétès Antje KOLDE (Université de Genève)


Athéna en compagnon d Ulysse Alessandra LUKINOVICH (Université de Genève)




Tactique de labsence Maurice OLENDER (EHESS, Paris)


La voix dAphrodite, le rôle d Hermaphrodite et la timè d Halicarnasse. Quelques remarques sur l inscription de Salmakis Vinciane PIRENNE-DELFORGE (F.R.S.-FNRS Université de Liège)


Le sacrifice humain : une affaire des autres ! A propos du martyre de saint Dasius Francesca PRESCENDI (Université de Genève)


Socrates Thracian Incantation James M. REDFIELD (University of Chicago)


D Ankara à Mystra, le Dialogue avec un Perse de l empereur byzantin Manuel II Paléologue André-Louis REY (Université de Genève)


Rationalité grecque et société romaine : contextes politiques et intellectuels de la religion de la République tardive Jörg RÜPKE (Centre Max Weber, Université d Erfurt)


Les émotions dans la religion romaine John SCHEID (Collège de France)


Aphrodite reflétée. A propos du fragment 1 (LP/V) de Sappho Renate SCHLESIER (Freie Universität Berlin)


A la recherche des poètes disparus Paul SCHUBERT (Université de Genève)


Sacrifices holy and unholy in Euripides Iphigenia in Tauris Froma I. ZEITLIN (Princeton)


En terres dOrient, d Egypte à lInde

De Carthage à Salvador de Bahia. Approche comparative des rites du tophet et du candomblé, lieux de mémoire rituels Corinne BONNET (Université de Toulouse [UTM], Equipe PLH-ERASME, EA 4153-IUF)


Gérer la religion des autres en traduisant : S ū r D ā s et la bhakti Maya BURGER (Université de Lausanne)



Prier et séduire Antoine CAVIGNEAUX (Université de Genève)

Le hiéroglyphe

Antoine C AVIGNEAUX (Université de Genève) Le hiéroglyphe et la gestuelle cérémonielle d ’ Amenhotep IV

et la gestuelle cérémonielle d Amenhotep IV





Philippe COLLOMBERT (Université de Genève)


Dieux en colère, dieux anonymes, dieux en couple. Sur la nature des dieux personnels dans le Moyen-Orient ancien Margaret JAQUES (Université de Zurich)


On the Sisterhood of Europe and Asia Bruce LINCOLN (University of Chicago)



« Chut ! » Le signe d Harpocrate et linvitation au silence Philippe MATTHEY (Université de Genève)


Images autorisées, images interdites. LIslam et le « choc des civilisations » Silvia NAEF (Université de Genève)


Les « Trésors cachés » : entre l intemporalité et Svetlana PETKOVA



Mémoire et ruines de Mésopotamie Anne-Caroline RENDU LOISEL (Université de Genève)


Quand les dieux rendent visite aux hommes (Gn 18 19). Abraham, Lot et la mythologie grecque et proche-orientale Thomas RÖMER (Collège de France Université de Lausanne)


Pan en Egypte et le « bouc » de Mendès Youri VOLOKHINE (Université de Genève)



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